Foods: Cooking with Diamonds with Swiss Diamond and a fabulous Giveaway!
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I was recently given the opportunity to test and experiment with a quality non-stick saute pan from the Swiss Diamond people. One of the best things about being a food blogger is the privilidge I have of getting to put these things through their paces, and then reporting to you, my faithful readers, all about my experience. I pride myself on being honest with you each time. So far I have been really lucky in that I have honestly enjoyed almost everything I have been sent, and I am quite happy to say that I am still enjoying this experience!!
About a week and a half ago I received this beautiful 5.8 QT induction saute pan in the post and I have been using it every chance I get. At first I was a bit intimidated by the size, but I quickly got to grips with that! I hadn’t realized it would be as large as it was, but . . . it’s actually come in rather handy!
It is a full 12 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 inches deep, which makes it perfect for those times when you are having people over and have a lot to cook. It also makes it great for cooking pot roasts, soups and stews. The stainless steel handle means it can go into the oven as well.
Swiss Diamond Cookware utilizes a patented diamond reinforced non-stick cooking surface, which makes for an excellent non-stick performance. Utilizing the physical properties of both diamonds and custom nonstick components, their patented coated pans have a few features which you will not find in any other nonstick cookware.
From their page:
We use diamonds for three reasons:
Exceptional Hardness - Diamonds, when paired with our unique coating formula, create a durable coating that will last for many years.
Superior Heat Conduction – Diamonds conduct heat better than any metal, allowing our cookware to brown and sear food for a savory exterior.
Natural Nonstick Qualities - Diamonds are intrinsically smooth, contributing to the coating’s ability to release food easily to preserve delicate dishes and make clean-up a breeze. No need to add oil for cooking – just use a preheated pan over medium-high heat.
The perfectly flat base makes them perfect for use on all kinds of hobs . . . ceramic, gas, electric. They are also safe for use in the oven for up to 260*C/500*F, which is pretty hot!
They have thick bases for even heat conduction, cast aluminum construction which is guaranteed not to warp. They are rivet free as well, so there are nasty little spots to collect germs and bacteria, and best of all they are dishwasher safe! You also don’t have to buy any special utensils to use with them as the diamond coating makes them safe to use with both metal and plastic utensils.
Mine came with a metal rimmed, tempered glass cover with an adjustable vent built into the knob.
I have used my pan in a variety of ways over this past week and a half (see below) and was able to cut way down on the amount of fat that I would normally use in cooking and nothing stuck. Seriously . . . nothing stuck at all. It’s also been a real breeze to clean up. The one I got is a big large for my slim line dish washer, but that isn’t a problem as literally nothing has stuck to it. It’s heated up quickly and held the heat perfectly and evenly. Another thing I have been impressed with is that I have been able to cook both fish and curry in it, and the stronger flavours have not transferred themselves to the pan as is so often the case with cheaper nonstick pans. There is nothing worse than cooking pancakes in a pan only to discover when you go to eat them that there is the faint taste of salmon in them . . . ’nuff said!
I am well impressed and it has become my new favourite pan! I am asking Todd to get me a smaller one for Christmas year, as I am just in love with the quality and performance of this cookware. So much so that I give them a 10+ out of 10 and will quite happily fork out some of my own money to get a smaller one! It’s money well spent in my honest opinion!
Here are a few of the things which I have cooked in my pan over the last week or so.
*Salmon Fillets with Cucumber and Dill*
4 large salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick and weighing about 6 ounces each
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a bit of olive oil (I didn’t use any in this pan and it worked a charm)
1/4 cup dry white wine
For the sour cream sauce:
6 TBS sour cream
2 TBS fresh chopped dill weed
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 TBS finely chopped shallot
1/4 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
First make the sauce. Whisk together the sour cream, dillweed, vinegar, shallots, lemon zest and juice, and garlic. Season to taste and set aside.
To make the cucumber salad, trim the ends off the cucumber. Using a vegetable peeler, shave lengthwise into ribbons. Place into a bowl. Toss together with the remaining ingredients and set aside to marinate while you cook the salmon.
Season the salmon well on the flesh side. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan until hot. Add the fillets, presentation side down, and cook for 3 minutes, without disturbing. Carefully turn the salmon over and cook for an additional minute. Remove from the heat. Add the wine, then cover and allow to sit until the salmon flakes easily with a fork, about 3 minutes.
Divide the cucumber salad amongst 4 plates. Top each with 1 salmon fillet. Divide the sour cream sauce evenly amongst each serving and serve immediately.
*Simple Pan Fried Haddock*
Quick to cook and oh so easy and delicious. We both really enjoy this!
2 boneless, skinless haddock loins
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS flour
a knob of butter (I only needed a very small knob of butter. You could probably get away
with none, but the butter really adds to the flavour of this recipe)
several sprigs of fresh thyme
the juice of one lemon
Season your Haddock filets well on both sides then sprinkle with flour to coat, patting it lightly into the flesh. Set aside. Melt a knob of butter over medium high heat in a skillet until it begins to foam. Add the springs of thyme and then brown the Haddock fillets, starting with the presentation side, and then turning them after about 2 minutes. They should only take about 2 minutes per side to cook through, depending on the thickness of your fillets. After you have cooked both sides, squeeze the juice of a lemon over all and allow it to bubble up. Remove from the heat and let stand for several minutes before serving. Delicious!
Makes about 10
These are easy to make and so delicious! You can tell from the grease splattered piece of paper I’ve got it written down on that it’s a winner, but don’t take my word for it. Try them for yourself! We like to have them with applesauce and sour cream, with a few chives sprinkled on top, but you can have them with whatever strikes your fancy.
Grate your potatoes and squeeze as much liquid from them as you can, working quickly so that the potatoes don’t turn brown. Put into a bowl along with the remaining ingredients, mixing well.
Heat a skillet to medium hot, and grease well with some oil. I add about 3 TBS and swirl it around.
Once the oil is hot, drop the batter by tablespoonsful onto the hot skillet. Press with the back of the spoon to flatten a bit. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side until browned. Place in a low oven to keep warm while you fry the rest.
Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream. Delicious!
1 3/4 pounds of braising beef or steak
3 TBS olive oil (I used half the amount with this pan)
1/2 cup cubed pancetta
3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 TBS plain flour
1 3/4 cups of full bodied red wine, plus an extra splash if need be
(I normally use a Shiraz)
a bouquet garni (A few springs of thyme, a bay leaf and a few parsley stalks
2 TBS butter (Only used one TBS, again for the flavour)
1/2 pound of chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 TBS finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pat the meat dry. Trim well, discarding any sinew or excess fat. Cut into large chunks. Heat 1 TBS of oil in a dutch oven and brown the pancetta lightly. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Brown the meat in two batches in the fat that remains in the pan. Once browned scoop out and add to the pancetta, once again setting it aside. Add the remaining oil and fry the onion in it very slowly, covering the pan, until very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes in time, stirring occasionally and adding the garlic to the mixture halfway through the cooking time. Stir the flour into the onions and cook for about a minute, then add the wine and bring to the boil, stirring. Add the meat and pancetta, along with the bouquet garni and bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook, covered, over very low heat until the meat is tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Turn off the heat and leave the casserole overnight. Next day bring the dish back to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and fry until lightly browned. Tip them into the stew and allow to cook for another 15 minutes or so. Season the stew with some salt and black pepper to taste and, if you think it needs it, another splash of wine. Sprinkle with the parsley to serve.
Serve hot with some mashed potatoes on the side. Delicious!
*Sautéed Chicken Curry*
I love cooking with chicken breasts. They can happily accept many flavours and I love coming up with new ways of preparation. I think this is a delicious experiment of mine that I will be repeating often! You needn’t serve this curry with anything more than some plain steamed basmati rice, and maybe a steamed green vegetable on the side. It really is delicious!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS butter ( I used half this amount and half of the required oil as well)
2 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS curry powder (I use a medium strength)
1 TBS peeled and grated fresh gingerroot
The grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup hot chicken broth
2 heaping TBS mango chutney
1 TBS chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 TBS chopped fresh mint
½ cup lightly toasted cashew nuts
Thinly slice the chicken breasts lengthwise and then again in half so that you end up with four thin pieces from each. Season well with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot and the butter sizzles. Toss in the chicken pieces and brown them well on both sides. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Reducing the heat sauté the onion, stirring until tender and translucent. Thisshould take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute longer, taking care not to brown it as this makes it bitter. Add the curry powder, orange zest, ginger and orange juice, stirring to scrap up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes to reduce somewhat and then return the chicken to the pan, simmering for 3 minutes or so to cook through. Stir in the chutney and sprinkle with the coriander, mint and cashew nuts before serving.
Serve hot with some steamed or pilau rice on the side and some naan bread to sop up all that lovely sauce.
*Anthony’s Favourite Fly-Off-The-Plate Pancakes*
Family size (must mean at least 4 or five people)
This is another oldie from my big blue binder. In the amount area it only says family size so I take it to mean that means a lot, because I had a rather large family. My Anthony loved these and for good reason. They are quite simply delicious. The addition of sour cream gives them a wonderful tenderness. I always made them silver dollar size when I was making these. I think he liked them that way because he could get a whole one into his mouth at one time, you know how boys are! Break out the butter and Maple Syrup, you’re in for a real taste treat today!
2 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 TBS white sugar
6 tsp baking powder
2 large free range eggs
2 cups milk
5 TBS sour cream
4 TBS melted butter
Oil for frying (I only lightly spritzed with oil)
Whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Put the eggs, milk, sour cream and melted butter into a large beaker and whisk them together well. Make a well in themiddle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients all at once. Whisk together vigorously until they make a smooth batter.
Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Grease lightly with a little bit of oil, swirling it to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Drop the pancake batter onto the heated pan or griddle in heaping tablespoonfuls. Cook over medium high heat until the surface is coated with small bubbles and the underside is lightly browned before flipping them over to cook and brown the other side. Remove to a plate and keep warm in the oven while you are cooking the rest, using up all the batter. Serve warm with knobs of ice cold butter on top and sweet lashings of Maple Syrup.
These freeze very well. Just pop them between layers of grease proof paper and pop them into a zip lock baggie. You can then take out as many or as few as you want at any given time, warming them up for a few seconds in the microwave.
PS – You can very easily cut this recipe in two if you don’t want to make quite so many. I did.
*Jammy Breakfast Sandwiches*
Quick, delicious and different! A hot eggy bread sandwich filled with lovely meltingly rich cream cheese and sweet jam, all brown and butterly crunchy on the outside and dusted with caster sugar. Quite simply, lovely . . .
3 large eggs
1 TBS of caster sugar
2 TBS whole milk
A few drops of pure vanilla essence
8 slices of brioche
4 heaping TBS of your favourite flavour of jam
4 heaping TBS of cream cheese
A large knob of butter for cooking
More caster sugar for sprinkling
Lightly beat together the eggs, caster sugar, milk and vanilla in a shallow dish large enough to fit the bread slices into.
Open the slices of bread and spread the cream cheese on half of them and the jam on the other half. Put them together cheese sides to jam sides in the middle, pressing firmly so that they stick firmly together.
Melt the butter over medium low heat in a large skillet until it is foaming. Soak each sandwich in the beaten egg mixture until all the egg has been absorbed, allowing them to soak on both sides. Place the soaked sandwiches into the foaming butter and fry for one to two minutes on each side until golden brown and crusty all over, adding more butter as necessary.
Remove to warm plates and slice into fingers. Dust lightly with caster sugar to serve and enjoy!
Swiss Diamond pans are available at the Swiss Diamond Online Store. I want to thank them very much for sending me this lovely pan. I can say in all honesty that it is the nicest pan I have ever had the occasion to cook with. Thank you Swiss Diamond!
The Swiss Diamond people are so nice that they are going to give one of their lovely 5.5 litre Induction Saute Pans away to one of our readers here at The English Kitchen, worth £169. To get in on the giveaway please sign up to follow them on their facebook page, and then come back here and leave a comment telling me you have done so! Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to readers who reside in the UK at this time. I wish it could be all of you! Only one entry per person please.
You have until midnight on June 30th to sign up for this giveaway. A lucky winner will be picked from all of the entries on the 1st of July! This is a really great prize. Thanks so much to Swiss Diamond!
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